Watch a recently made video to commemorate the 3-year anniversary of the airport action to prevent the deportation of Laibar Singh in 2007. This video was screened at our Rhymes and Resistance event on Dec 10th in remembrance of our victories and commitment to continued resistance
Advancing anti-racism and anti-colonial struggle: Re-examining the question “Where was the Color in Seattle”
Saturday, December 13 from 4-7pm. An evening of discussion — hearty dinner provided. 706 Clarke Drive )between Venebles and Hastings)
Along with many other important struggles, December 10th, 2008 – International Human Rights Day – marks the one year anniversary of the historic airport action to prevent the deportation of Mr. Laibar Singh. Over 1500 supporters – primarily elderly, women, and working class South Asians – converged at the Vancouver International Airport and surrounded the vehicle holding Mr. Singh. This physical prevention of a deportation by a grassroots community mobilization has served as a powerful inspiration to movements across North America.
Dear friends and allies, As you all might have heard by now, Mr. Laibar Singh will be returning to India. In a statement released by his legal counsel Peter Edelmann to media via No One Is Illegal “Mr. Laibar Singh intends to present himself to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for removal to India. On a number of recent occasions agents from CBSA have attended at the Abbortsford Gurudwara- despite the clear indication that it was a sanctuary zone- to tell Mr. Singh that there was no chance for him to remain in Canada. Mr. Singh continues to hope that the Canadian government will allow him to remain on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, but is no longer able to endure this state of limbo. He is thankful to all his supporters for their kindness.”
Mainstream media coverage of Sunday July 13 “One year in Sanctuary is too Many- Status for Laibar Singh”
IMMIGRATION: PARALYZED INDIAN REFUGEE CLAIMANT MARKS ONE YEAR OF SANCTUARY. Border Service visits alarm Singh supporters, JEREMY HAINSWORTH. The Canadian Press. July 14, 2008
VANCOUVER — As paralyzed refugee claimant Laibar Singh marked one year in sanctuary yesterday, his supporters were concerned about visits by Canada Border Services agents to the Sikh temple where he has sought protection. Spokeswoman Harsha Walia said the unannounced visits are making the tradition of religious sanctuary meaningless. “The fact that they’re entering into sanctuary without notice and without consent is of concern,” Ms. Walia said. “Immigration authorities themselves have typically respected sanctuary because that’s the intention of that tradition, but for them even to come for any purpose is a concern. “It’s just told to them that they really shouldn’t be doing that,” Ms. Walia said. “They haven’t attempted a removal because they know he’s in sanctuary but it is a little bit alarming.”
Sunday July 13. Gathering at Abbottsford Gurudwara. Meet at 11 am for rides from Vancouver. Safeway Parking Lot (Commercial and Broadway). Return by 2 pm. To confirm a spot in car (or if you have a vehicle- we need a few more- we’ll cover gas) please email andr_e_a at hotmail.com or call 778 999 9219 or 604 568 7430.
Over the past year in sanctuary, Laibar Singh has been through conditions that few of us can imagine, let alone bear. Despite an outpouring of support and incredible actions to defend him, he remains in sanctuary- unable to leave for fear of being arrested and deported. In the past few weeks, Canadian Border Services Agency officials have been ‘visiting’ Laibar Singh in sanctuary in Abbottsford without any prior notice or consent. While they are not overtly threatening removal and their visits might seem ‘harmless’, the entering of sanctuary for any such purpose is a clear and dangerous violation of the integrity of the sanctuary of the gurudwara.
Between January 25-29, 2008, eleven cities across Canada participated in actions, delegations and events in solidarity with Laibar Singh. Activities were held in Halifax, Fredericton, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto, Guelph, London and Vancouver/Surrey. Together, from Halifax to Vancouver, Laibar’s supporters were demanding that the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Minister Stockwell Day respect Laibar Singh’s sanctuary, and that Laibar be granted permanent residency. Across the Canadian state, protesters were showing their solidarity with the inspiring mobilizations, led by the South Asian community, in support of Laibar. The national actions also aimed to counter the racist backlash against Laibar Singh and the South Asian community, due to deliberate misinformation by the CBSA and some media outlets.
-> A PHOTO-REPORT from the National Days of Action in Support of Laibar Singh HERE.
-> VIDEO: Demonstration in support of Laibar Singh and Kader Belaouni at the Greater Toronto Enforcement Center
-> A NEWS COMPILATION relating to Laibar Singh is linked HERE.
No double standard, say Sikh supporters of failed refugee claimant. David Carrigg
The Province. Monday, January 28, 2008
Supporters of failed refugee claimant Laibar Singh are mounting a campaign to ensure Sikh temples continue to offer the same sanctuary a church provides. “Violating the sanctuary of a gurudwara [temple] while the sanctuary of churches has largely been respected will set a dangerous double standard,” Cynthia Wright, of York University’s school of women’s studies in Toronto, said in a statement. Singh, who has twice avoided deportation as a result of protests by his supporters, is living in Surrey’s Guru Nanak Sikh temple in the belief the government will not enter and remove him.
NATIONAL DAYS OF ACTION IN ELEVEN CITIES TO SUPPORT LAIBAR SINGH.
- Demand that CBSA and Stockwell Day Respect Sanctuary!
- Support the South Asian community in its courageous mobilizing!
- Take an active stand against the racist backlash!
- Permanent residency status for Laibar Singh now!
VANCOUVER/SURREY: EVENING VIGIL. SUNDAY JANUARY 27TH AT 4 PM AT SURREY GURU NANAK GURUDWARA. Corner of 72nd and 120th Ave aka Scott Road. Email: noii-van at resist.ca or call 604 779 7430
TRANSPORT ON SUNDAY
- Rides are available from Safeway Parking Lot (Broadway and Commercial) at 3 pm. Seats must be confirmed with Andrea at andr_e_a at hotmail.com or call 778 999 9219 or 604 568 7430. Rides back will also be provided. If you have a vehicle that is available (gas covered) for rides on Sunday, please do get in touch with Andrea, we need at least 6 more vehicles, thanks!
- Alternatively, take the skytrain (blue Millenium Line) to Scott Road Station (about 20 minutes ride from Broadway Skytrain Station) and there will be carpools from Bay 1 Bus Loop at Scott Road Station (look for people with signs) starting at 3:45 pm. Call 604 779 7430 for questions.
Despite popular perception and depiction, a wide range of supporters beyond the South Asian community support Mr. Singh including the Canadian Labour Congress, Hospital Employees Union, BC Coalition of People with Disabilities, McGill Refugee Research Project, Council of Canadians BC/Yukon Chapter, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Multifaith Action Committee, Canadian Muslim Union, Jesuit Centre of Justice and Faith, Ligue des droits et libertés du Québec, Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society, Canadian Arab Federation, Student Christian Movement of Canada, Sikh Youth Union Toronto, Vancouver District Labour Council, Campaign for Democratic Media, Save our Rivers Society, Toronto Disabled Action Movement Now, Sikh Lawyers Association Toronto, Indigenous Free Skool, Solidarity Across Borders Montreal, No One Is Illegal Toronto, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Industrial Workers of the World, Vancouver Status of Women, La Surda Latin American Collective, Interfaith Community Consultative Committee of the SFU Interfaith Summer Institute, Students for a Democratic Society UBC, Grassroots Women, Halifax Coalition Against Poverty, Vancouver Catholic Worker, Immigrant Workers Centre Montreal, Canadian Youth Network for Asia Pacific Solidarity, Sudbury Against War and Occupation, Filipino Women’s Organization in Quebec, 2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, No One Is Illegal Kingston, No One Is Illegal Quebec City, Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty, Fredericton Peace Coalition, Beats for Justice, and others.
CRTC COMPLAINTS FILED REGARDING ‘INCOMPLETE AND INACCURATE’ NEWS REPORTING IN LAIBAR SINGH CASE
A group of journalists, academics, and media-watch groups have filed a CRTC complaint stating that news coverage of Mr. Laibar Singh was not accurate, full, and comprehensive. According to the complainants, this inaccurate and incomplete coverage breached the broadcasters’ ethical codes and betrayed the public trust, while negatively impacting the public perception in the case of Mr. Laibar Singh.
This complaint has been filed against CBC TV, CBC Radio, CKNW, CTV, and Global TV on the grounds that, despite numerous clarifications including by legal experts, broadcasters failed to provide accurate, comprehensive, fair, full, and unbiased coverage when they reported falsely that Laibar Singh “came to Canada illegally” or that he “was illegal” in Canada prior to taking sanctuary in July 2007. This decontextualized and/or inaccurate information has fuelled ignorance in the public sphere and has negatively influenced perceptions of Mr. Laibar Singh and all asylum seekers to Canada.